Some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit quiet over the last couple of months, (if you haven’t…well this is awks 😉 ). Anyway, the main reason for being AWOL is that I needed a complete TIME OUT. Lots of things have been happening in my life personally and sometimes it’s just too much trying to keep on top of everything as well as living life! Ya feel me?
I needed a digital detox!
Social Media is a fantastic tool to connect people and share ideas and passions and to broaden our horizons. It’s a powerful tool but if not used mindfully, it can increase anxiety and stress levels.
I, like a lot of you, absolutely love my social media; connecting with like-minded people and making new friends, not to mention sharing blog posts and general everyday life. But it can become an unhealthy obsession. And it did for me. I found that most days I spent a lot of time sitting hunched over my phone constantly looking at one of my social media platforms; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. There are so many posts to like and comment on and I slowly began to realise (with a caring nudge from the hubby) that trying to ‘keep up and catch up’ with everyone’s latest posts is a game that I can never win and trying to do so was hugely increasing my stress levels. Of course, I was also posting my own pictures on all 3 platforms; Instagram, Facebook page and Twitter and then creating posts for my blog so it was fast becoming a full time job just managing my social media.
The first thing I was doing in the morning was reaching for my phone. I had hardly opened my eyes and they were already staring at the little rectangle screen. Even watching a movie was interrupted by me mindlessly picking up my phone to check what’s been happening in the last 10 minutes. It had become a habit. A habit that was really hard to break.
It wasn’t until my husband told me I was looking really stressed that I realised, I felt really stressed and I was creating that stress myself. It’s really hard to focus on 2 (or more) things at once for any period of time no matter how good you are at multitasking.
Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to point something out before you realise it yourself.
If you are a fellow blogger, you’ll know that social media interaction is key. We write content that we want people to read so we want to build up a community of people that we interact with regularly but this takes time to build.
The bigger problem comes with the increased number of people we are following as this interaction level will only get bigger and more time consuming. We couldn’t possibly interact with that many people on a personal level in the real world, yet we pressurise ourselves to on social media. It’s an impossible game of chasing our tails.
In my quest to share everything I was doing on social media, I had blindly stopped living in the moment and whenever I went somewhere with the hubby or friends and family, I spent time recording what I was doing on my phone instead of enjoying those precious times.
I saw a picture recently that perfectly depicts life today and really resonated with me…
The older lady has a serene smile and nothing in her hands to distract her from what she is looking at. And she looks happy. She is living in the moment. The majority of people around her with phones in their hands aren’t even watching the show first hand, they are seeing it through their phone screens. They aren’t really there. So what’s the point of being there…? You could just save the money you spent on a ticket and watch it on YouTube when someone uploads their videos…
During my social media break, I spent time with family and friends and didn’t try to capture every single moment in technology. I captured them in my head and I still remember them now. I don’t need a picture or a video to remember those moments in time. I just need to be there.
When I posted my first picture on Instagram after my break, I received so many comments from people saying that they felt the same way and also felt like they needed a break from social media. That spoke volumes to me. We are all so busy in our everyday lives and then spend every spare second glued to our phones that we are forgetting to live in the moment and actually relax. We forget that time spent looking at our screens and socialising via technology is not downtime and we need downtime to recharge our batteries.
We live in a world where we all feel like we have to respond to things immediately. So many people, including me, apologise for not responding to a message for a couple of days. In actual fact, it really doesn’t matter how long we take to respond (unless there’s an urgency), we are all busy and everyone understands that we can’t be held captive by our phones. We feel like everything has to be done immediately and it really doesn’t.
Living in a world without social media is not an option for me. I love it! I’m a social person with a passion for all things health, fitness and wellness and I love sharing this passion with people from all over the world. Something social media allows me to do. BUT, in order to ensure that I am doing this in a healthy way, I now try to limit the amount of time I spend on my phone and when doing something like watching a movie, eating dinner, spending time with family and friends, I put my phone away.
Living in the moment is a gift, after all, it’s called ‘the present’.
A digital detox is a really healthy thing to do for a few days every once in a while. It’s hard at first but once you train yourself to put your phone down when you’ve picked it up mindlessly, you can take this into every day life when you go back to social media and it will help you to stay in control of what you are doing.
With love, Tash ❤ x
P.S Does this post resonate with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts… please feel free to comment below 🙂